Your Wedding on Film?

Film has definitely made a comeback. It will not overtake Digital in convenience and cost. However, it has a certain vibe. Many young couples and mature couples, perhaps those enjoying a silver romance, who want a more nostalgic look to their wedding are seeking professionals who can deliver the look on film.

Well, look no further. I photographed weddings on film for many years both in color and black and white. I can definitely deliver the shots.

What do you think about the photo of the flower girl below? I made it using a Leica 35mm camera. Most of my wedding work now is shot using Nikon. Many film photographers shot weddings on medium format such as Hasselblad or Mamiya. Some still do. They are fantastic cameras. I enjoyed the immediacy and flexibility of 35mm. I use a photojournalistic approach to weddings. I like to tell the story.

How about this photograph in black and white?

And this one of two boys chowing down at the reception? Again, another photograph made with a Leica.

What can you expect if you hire a film photographer for your wedding?

First, the prices will be higher, perhaps 50% or more higher. Photographic film of all brands and formats, and film processing are considerably more expensive than at its height twenty or more years ago. The material cost and processing are definitely much higher with film than with digital media.

Film is more time consuming and labor intensive. It takes time to send your wedding photographs to the lab for processing. In the current market, film developing and basic scans may take 10 business days or longer to return. The photographer may also want to scan the film instead of allowing the lab to do it, especially for large size prints. Perhaps you want all your photographs delivered to you digitally so you can share them in social media. Scanning film takes more time than uploading directly from an original digital image from the camera.

You can probably expect fewer shots to review. Working with film is a different style of photography. Digital allows the photographer more freedom to explore looks. That means the photographer will take more digital images than a film photographer will take. A typical digital wedding may have thousands of photographs. A film wedding may be just a few hundred. It depends on the length of the wedding and what your needs are.

The disciplines of film photography are worth it, I believe. I personally think there is visual fatigue involved with reviewing so many digital photographs of essentially the same pose. My own experience is that I may shoot less on film, but the photographs will have that film quality that digital does not have.

The greatest advantage of film over digital is that your photographs will exist on a tangible medium. Properly processed film will last for generations, even hundreds of years. It will not matter what changes in digital image processing occur, what formats appear and disappear, what computers come and go. Your negatives will still be the same for many years to come.

Here's a little secret: You can "have your (wedding) cake and eat it too." With film you can get the nostalgic look and you can have digital scans of them... and you can have all the benefits of digital editing tools such as Photoshop that the photographer can use to make your images perfect.

Here's a couple more photographs I made on film.

So consider film photography for your wedding and hire a photographer experienced in the medium to make your day all the more special.

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